A lot of my work 2017 — 2018 focused on internet-enabled production.
The web's quickly forming nodes in the real world. The barrier to creating a product // the investment required to scale a product are dropping. Here are some viable "products" designed in an afternoon, thinking about my overheating computer and coffee. All were designed for manufacture. I'm not interested in selling them, but I could without any additional infrastructure via services like shapeways.
I wrote a rough draft of some ways this kind of workflow could be useful in creating more equitable and accessible product design processes. [below images scroll]
This new internet also challenges questions of ownership.
There's a company that still makes Don Judd's designs, and this table for example, sells for 13 thou(!). But now the barrier to copying physical objects like that is dropping. In a couple days, I made renderings and 3-axis CNC toolpaths for all these expensive and famous furnitures, lowering the cost to the price of materials and machine time (about 100 times less than current cost for a one-off in some cases).
I'm also interested in how more people can engage with the built environment and divest from mass, globalized one-size-fits-all, penny wise // pound foolish products. These projects suggests a future where it's easier, cheaper, and better for everyone to design and make their own objects.
To that end, instead of designing one piece of furniture, I designed a set of constraints and relationships defining a family of objects. Some pictures follow, although the boon is the idea itself more than this instantiation of it.
The quick summary is this: I tried to design the most simple furniture form I could, and then parameterize it in such a way that it could be modified to make a chair, table, desk, sawhorses, stool, or bench of any specifications. Because everything is customizable by the user with only minimal requisite knowledge, one could change the parameters to fit most end-uses, size specifications, available materials, and tooling options, without needing to understand how to use CAD software. While companies like Open Desk have opened the process of manufacturing furniture, this work is about opening the design process.
You can see a full project description here.
Side note: about 6 months after I did this project in a workshop next door to (and partnered with) Open Desk, they took their very first steps toward parameterizing their designs, too (but not to this extent).